The General (1926)

Unrated  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  24 February 1927 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 48,608 users  
Reviews: 231 user | 105 critic

When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.

0Check in

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

Top Rated Movies #137 | 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Gold Rush (1925)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray
Metropolis (1927)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
City Lights (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man and his son search for a stolen bicycle vital for his job.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A dramatized account of a great Russian naval mutiny and a resulting street demonstration which brought on a police massacre.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein
Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barsky, Grigori Aleksandrov
M (1931)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut
Rebecca (1940)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders
Ikiru (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori
Modern Times (1936)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman
All About Eve (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders


Complete credited cast:
Glen Cavender ...
Jim Farley ...
Frederick Vroom ...
Charles Henry Smith ...
Annabelle's Father (as Charles Smith)
Frank Barnes ...
Joe Keaton ...
Union General
Mike Donlin ...
Union General
Tom Nawn ...
Union General


Johnnie loves his train ("The General") and Annabelle Lee. When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he's more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it's because he's a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love, Locomotives and Laughs See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 February 1927 (France)  »

Also Known As:

General  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1982) | (1962) | (2003 alternate) |

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Union and Confederate armies were played by 500 members of the Oregon National Guard. See more »


When Johnnie is chopping wood on the train, the piece of wood changes size between the different shots. See more »


[first lines]
Annabelle's brother: Fort Sumter has been fired upon.
Mr. Lee: Then the war is here.
Annabelle's brother: Yes, dad, and I'm going to be one of the first to enlist.
See more »


Featured in Les portes tournantes (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Greatest Comedy Ever Made
20 November 2000 | by (Baltimore, Maryland) – See all my reviews

THE GENERAL represents the greatest achievement screen comedy ever accomplished. From the brilliant gag construction to the sheer excellence of the filmmaking technique, THE GENERAL is a hilarious and amazing journey into comedy. Written and directed by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman, Keaton brings brilliant gags into the story. The film begins when Keaton is told he is of no use to the South as a soldier, but as a train engineer. However, his girlfriend refuses to talk to him until he is in uniform. After the war has started, the girl is kidnapped by some Union raiders on Keaton's train, and so begins the greatest (and funniest) chase ever filmed. For the next 75 minutes, the viewer is in Keaton's world. His gags, routines and amazing slapstick serve to make this the greatest screen comedy ever filmed.

-Matt, age 16

46 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Can someone explain to me why this is so great? TheLamplightersSerenade
Your Top ten favorite silent films SakowskyBrothers
score/soundtrack mariasarasota
Best version on DVD? haciendacaliente
I like to think I have good taste in movies, but... bulldawg8110
A little anal perhaps godels_sprog
Discuss The General (1926) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: